SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, said on Friday it is beta-testing a new social-networking-product, as the firm expands outside e-commerce to seek other revenue streams.
An Alibaba Group spokeswoman confirmed that the social-networking product will be called "Laiwang" and according to its website, it will be available on the PC and downloadable onto Android smartphones and iPhones. (www.laiwang.com/)
“This product is currently under beta testing,” said Dora Chai, an Alibaba spokeswoman in an email to Reuters, declining to give further details. It is unclear if the product is being developed by Alibaba Group or its unit Alibaba Cloud Computing or when it will be released for public use.
Tencent technology news reported on Friday, quoting sources, that the product resembled Google Inc’s latest social networking product, Google+.
Alibaba Group, which is 40 percent owned by Yahoo Inc, diversified into search by investing into Sohu’s Sogou search engine in late 2010. This year it launched its own mobile device running a self-developed operating system.
Alibaba Group owns Alibaba.com, China’s largest B2B e-commerce website, Taobao and Taobao Mall.
Reporting by Melanie Lee